But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.  Luke 12:39

This verse carries a possibly uncomfortable warning: “Care for your home because someone has plans to plunder it.” It is an imperative that puts us on vulnerable terrain and emphasizes our duty to be diligent in guarding and protecting our homes. “This is a sensitive subject,” explains Manuel Largaespada, volunteer facilitator of the Families program, and he confesses it causes him some fear each time he addresses this subject with the pastoral couples in the program.

Fears notwithstanding, however, “Care for Your Home” has been the continuous challenge that they have brought to the pastoral couples of the Northern region of Nicaragua who have participated in the Families program in the last year. “It is about a call to action that doesn’t exactly sound like the theme of a motivational conference. It is, however, a warning that we cannot ignore in these times in which The Thief is trying to force the door,” adds Manuel.

“Our proposition was that the pastors know a lot about how to take care of their homes in the spiritual sense, but they needed to grow in the understanding of the importance of other areas such as the emotional and physical health of their homes,” shares Luz Urania Largaespada, coordinator of this program.

The Families program has developed a series of workshops and materials that focus on the necessity of caring for the home and practical ways to do so. Among other ideas, “Caring for Your Home” consists of:

– Modifying our patterns of living and practicing “good treatment” as a lifestyle.
– Recognizing that God wants us to have good health and wants for us to be attentive to our habits of exercise and eating.
– Making the decision to break some heavy and unnecessary yokes that produce exhaustion in the pastoral family, such as the yoke of concern for self-image, the yoke of legalism, and the yoke of over-commitment.

Pastors Ileana and Miguel Castillo have participated in and replicated the workshops with their congregation and share their experience in these words:

Ileana: “The families we work with are not always well cared for, beginning with their marriage and then with the raising of their children. But we are seeing many changes from negative to positive. For example, families are learning to express issues in a constructive manner instead of destructive within their family unit.”

Miguel: “We are very busy working in the church and sometimes we fail to take care of our own home. But we have improved in our communication – we haven’t always been good listeners, but we have improved in this within our marriage and with our children. This has helped us to be better listeners to others who are under our care as well.”

God cares for the birds, the flowers, the fields, and our homes. He desires for us to be sacred guards of the family he has given us. He wants us to know how to care for our own homes in such a way that The Thief cannot plunder it. Care for Your Home!